The Woman in the Back Row

(///space.divide.acted – Radcliffe Camera, Oxford, UK)

Max and Hector clinked glasses. “Your very good health,” Max said.

“And yours,” Hector replied, before putting his glass down with a sigh. “Thirty years. I can’t believe we’ve been doing this thirty years!”

“We’re men of our word,” Max replied. “We said we’d meet back near our old college once a year. And we do. That’s worth drinking to. And look what I found!”

He enthusiastically pulled an old photo out of his jacket and put it down for them both to look at it.

“Goodness,” Hector said. “It’s the old Divide and Rule gang. Will you look at that. What were we doing?”

“Production of Cymbeline. I directed, you acted. Look at us all.”

“All that energy, all that ambition. The incredible things we were going to do!”

Max chuckled. “I know. You were going to win Oscars. I was still planning to go into space. Bertie there expected to win at least two Nobel prizes. Peter hadn’t given up on being World Chess Champion. We were all going to change the world.”

Hector shook his head. “We didn’t though, did we. Done all right, money, families, the usual stuff. Haven’t really made a big dent though. World would have coped just fine without us.”

They drank in silence.

“Don’t forget Charlotte though,” Max pointed out. “There, right at the back.”

“There is that. She was such an oddball though. So quiet. Never socialised, made no real impression on anyone. Just said her lines and then went home. Really strange person.”

Max nodded. “True enough.” He drank some more beer. “But it goes to show, you can never really tell about people. Hard to predict who’ll end up as Prime Minister.”

Hector had a drink. “Yes. Hard to predict.”


Why this location?